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Liv's words cut off as Finn got closer. The man approaching was nothing like the boy she'd known. The bulky football muscles had streamlined into a harder, leaner package and the look in his deep green eyes held no trace of boyish innocence.
It's been twelve years since tragedy struck the senior class of Long Acre High School. Only a few students survived that fateful night—a group the media dubbed The Ones Who Got Away.
Liv Arias thought she'd never return to Long Acre—until a documentary brings her and the other survivors back home. Suddenly her old flame, Finn Dorsey, is closer than ever, and their attraction is still white-hot. When a searing kiss reignites their passion, Liv realizes this rough-around-the-edges cop might be exactly what she needs...
ARC received for review purposes in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Roni Loren’s The Ones Who Got Away was an emotional and riveting love story between two people connected by a shattered past. What could have easily turned into an angst-filled novel full of dramatic moments was in fact a sweet, but hot story about two people trying to move forward from a harrowing experience that has changed their lives forever.
The Ones Who Got Away is a book that will grab readers’ attention from the first scene during which Olivia, our protagonist, has returned to her high-school for an interview about the shooting massacre that left many of her classmates dead, and others wounded, physically and emotionally. While this start was certainly shocking and heartbreaking, Roni Loren manages to make the book hopeful and inspiring. She doesn’t ignore the shooting – in fact, it’s always looming over the characters throughout the whole book and it has shaped a large portion of their lives – but she executed the story in a way that makes you believe that these characters will find their happily every afters.
The characters themselves were flawlessly fleshed-out. These were characters with a lot of depth and emotions, something that readers who enjoy character-driven stories will undeniably appreciate. Both Liv and Finn were complex and multi-layered, making them stand-out. Liv is a reformed bad-girl, who is now working as a successful website designer. In the process, she has also given up on her dreams of becoming a photographer. When she and her friends, fellow survivors of the Longacre shooting, find letters they wrote to themselves in a time-capsule, she decides to rekindle her passion for photography for the summer with her former flame, Finn. Liv is a sweet-natured and lovable character, who will have you rooting for her happiness. Throughout The Ones Who Got Away, readers see her experience and struggle with her PTSD, which was written in a raw, and sensitive manner. It’s heartbreaking, but also important because it revealed what a strong woman she was.
Finn, her love interest, was the perfect companion for Liv. With their shared connection to the massacre, they understood each other profoundly. Finn, too, was struggling with PTSD in his own way, and had channeled his grief and anger by joining the FBI in an attempt to punish those arms dealers that had put the weapons in the hands of the shooters that night. Finn was an equally terrific character, who will have most of you swooning and sighing in happiness, because he was a sweetheart. Despite not having had any contact in 12 years, the chemistry and emotional connection between Liv and Finn were intense, and sexy. The memories of them as teens were a nice addition to the story and provided more foundation to their relationship. Though they agree to only a temporary friends-with-benefits type relationship, their love for each other re-surges and there was no denying that these two were absolutely perfect fits together. The witty banter, the comfortable intimacy and the steamy yet tender sex scenes between Liv and Finn made this sizzling romance one that had me swooning.
Fans of emotional, intense and sexy romances, prepare to fall in love. The Ones Who Got Away is sure to enchant many. Now I can only hope that Roni Loren will write equally compelling stories for Liv’s friends as well. Who do I bribe to make this happen?